What is enterprise content management (ECM)?

If you are new to the concept of enterprise content management (ECM), you may find it confusing at first. And for good reason.

The enormous number of terms associated with enterprise content management software – document management, business process management, case management, imaging, records management, full text indexing – is bewildering.

So let’s start with some basics.

Enterprise content management (ECM) – sometimes referred to as document or records management – is the process (strategies, methods, and tools) of managing the entire lifecycle of an organization’s content, including Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, PDF files and scanned images. The general goal of ECM is to reduce risk and improve productivity, efficiency, and customer service via the elimination of paper-based tasks and the enhancement of process visibility. 

In summary:

  • Enterprise content management is an umbrella term for the technology, strategy and method used to capture, manage, access, integrate, measure and store information.
  • The value of enterprise content management software should go beyond simple scan, store and retrieve solutions. The ideal enterprise content management solution encompasses all of the platform’s capabilities and strengths.
  • Sometimes the term transactional content management is used – but it’s only part of ECM. As mentioned, ECM is an umbrella term and transactional content management, often associated with business processed that help drive actions and decisions, is just another term under that umbrella.
  • Think of enterprise content management more like your enterprise content strategy. Remember, ECM has evolved into a term more associated with business processes and content strategies than as an enterprise content management system.

How does enterprise content management benefit your business?

The primary function of ECM is to simultaneously reduce clutter while increasing data and process visibility and accessibility, ultimately saving time and significantly lowering costs.

ECM will help you:

  • Archive information quickly and access it quickly from wherever you are and whenever you need it
  • Eliminate paperwork and make whatever records-keeping you were doing via paper far more accessible and efficient
  • Organize and structure your company’s data in a way that makes it easily cross-referenceable, providing invaluable context around and transparency into processes

What makes OnBase unique in the world of enterprise content management?

OnBase manages content and processes all from one platform, centralizing your vital data and infrastructures to one secure location and delivering them to you when and where you need it. With only one platform to support, maintain and upgrade, the OnBase platform helps you reduce TCO and IT sprawl. Also, the platform is scalable to any size or type of organization, allowing you to tailor your solutions to your exact requirements. Hyland, creator of OnBase, has been recognized as a leader in enterprise content management by Gartner, Inc. six years in a row.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for content services platforms